Document Assembly & Automation

Key Innovators

Jonathan Pyle

Others Working on This

Thomas Officer, Michael Hassin, Scott Kelly, Amélie-Sophie Vavrosky, Wong Meng Weng, and Alexis Natalie Chun

Document assembly and automation is a specific subset of workflow automation—and often integral to it. (The terms document assembly and document automation are mostly interchangeable.) Document automation is also frequently incorporated into expert systems, which can use information and choices from the user to assemble a document.

Basic v. Advanced Document Automation

Basic document automation usually involves replacing placeholder fields in a template with data from a contact or matter record. For example, a document might use {{FIELDNAME}}as a placeholder format so that the document automation software can replace every instance of {{FIRSTNAME}} {{LASTNAME}} in a document with the first and last name pulled from those fields in a contact record.

This form of document automation is relatively easy to implement by users and software developers. Many law practice management software tools include basic document automation, for example. So do many office productivity suites like Microsoft Word/Office 365, Google Docs/Google Workspace.

More advanced document automation software can allow the user to select alternative passages, or assemble the document based on the user’s choices or a guided interview. At the most advanced end of the spectrum, an automatically assembled document may be output as part of an automated workflow or expert system like Neota Logic or docassemble.

Published on January 6th, 2022. Last updated on January 11th, 2022, by Sam Glover.